In Zokkomon, Darsheel Safary, the pint-sized star of Taare Zameen Par plays Kunal, a Harry Potter-like orphan kid who’s packed off to a village to live with his uncle after his parents are killed in an accident. Anupam Kher is the evil chacha Deshraj, who runs the local school where young students are cruelly punished, and whose government funds he merrily siphons.
When Deshraj sets his sights on his nephew’s inheritance, he abandons the boy in a far-off city and pretends that he is dead. But the kid runs into a reclusive scientist, whom he names Magic Uncle (also played by Anupam Kher), who grooms him to become an avenging angel in a superhero costume.
Wrongly positioned as a superhero adventure, Zokkomon is in fact a simplistic tale of child empowerment. The message of the film is noble, but the script is predictable and silly, and seems to regard its potentially young audience as stupid. The special effects are embarrassingly tacky, and the songs simply drag the film on pointlessly.
Director Satyajit Bhatkal draws out an earnest performance from Darsheel Safary, but there is little in this film that children in the audience are likely to embrace. Missing any fun or visual inventiveness even, Zokkomon is a dull film that’s difficult to endure.
I’m going with one-and-a-half out of five for Zokkomon. Like most children’s films made in India, this one too is confused and disheartening.